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113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     113-442

======================================================================



 
 PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE EVENTS 
           SURROUNDING THE 2012 TERRORIST ATTACK IN BENGHAZI

                                _______
                                

May 7, 2014.-- Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Sessions, from the Committee on Rules, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 567]

    The Committee on Rules, to whom was referred the resolution 
(H. Res. 567) providing for the establishment of the Select 
Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack 
in Benghazi, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommend that the resolution be 
adopted.

                           table of contents


                                                                    Page
    Purpose and Summary...........................................     2
    Background and Need for Legislation...........................     2
    Hearings......................................................     3
    Committee Consideration.......................................     3
    Committee Votes...............................................     3
    Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations..............     6
    Performance Goals and Objectives..............................     6
    Advisory Committee Statement..................................     6
    Exchange of Committee Correspondence..........................     7
    Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation................     9
    Changes in Existing House Rules Made by the Resolution, as 
      Reported....................................................    10
    Appendix......................................................    10
    Dissenting Views..............................................    12

                          purpose and summary

    H. Res. 567 provides for the establishment of the Select 
Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack 
in Benghazi. The resolution provides that the Select Committee 
will have a clear mandate for a comprehensive investigation 
that is not limited by jurisdictional lines. The resolution 
also authorizes the chair of the Select Committee to issue 
subpoenas and order depositions, ensures the Select Committee 
and its staff will have appropriate access to classified 
material, and requires the Select Committee to report to the 
full House on its findings and recommendations.

                  background and need for legislation

    After the terrorist attack on United States facilities in 
Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, the Committee on Rules 
believed the most prudent course of action was to utilize the 
full weight of Congressional oversight by using existing 
committees. The standing committees in the House of 
Representatives have resources and expertise that can be 
quickly tapped, which has led to important and significant work 
on the Benghazi investigation. In particular, the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform, the Committee on Armed 
Services, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent 
Select Committee on Intelligence have dedicated themselves to 
finding answers for the families of the four Americans killed 
during the attack.
    One issue that the Rules Committee highlighted early in the 
process of this investigation was the need for enhanced 
coordination between committees. The Rules Committee has worked 
directly with committees to ensure an unsurpassed level of 
coordination. In August of 2013, the chair of the Committee on 
Rules received status reports from the relevant committees to 
ensure that they had every tool at their disposal as they 
continued to work through their investigation. After receiving 
updates from the committees of jurisdiction, the Committee 
continued to believe that the existing committee structure was 
best prepared to conduct the investigation.
    While a select committee can be very useful in bringing 
enhanced public scrutiny to a situation, there are some 
drawbacks. Most notably, select committees take time to get up 
and running--Members have to be appointed, staff needs to be 
hired, and suitable space to handle classified information must 
be acquired. However, the Committee on Rules has always been 
open to the establishment of a select committee if it became 
apparent that a select committee was necessary. That time has 
come.
    House committees have worked diligently to find out what 
happened on the ground in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, and 
equally important, what didn't happen. Unfortunately, 
committees have had to pursue this investigation with an 
unwilling partner in the Obama Administration.
    While many documents have been provided to committees, it 
has taken far too long. On August 1, 2013, Chairman Darrell 
Issa issued a subpoena for records previously made available 
for in camera review in response to repeated committee requests 
for documents. Nearly one year later, the State Department 
continues to produce documents related to that subpoena. In 
short, there are still documents covered by the August 1, 2013 
subpoena that have not been turned over. For example, the 
Department has applied additional, unilateral redactions to 
both classified and unclassified documents that were previously 
made available for  in camera review.
    On April 17, 2014, an additional 276 documents, consisting 
of 779 pages were delivered to the Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform--many of which were heavily redacted. This is 
the same day that the State Department complied with a Freedom 
of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by Judicial Watch. 
The Committee believes that the timing of the two productions 
was deliberately coordinated and questions if Congress would 
have received these documents absent the FOIA request from 
Judicial Watch. Furthermore, the Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform has informed the Committee on Rules that the 
versions of these documents provided to the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform are in some cases more redacted 
than those provided to Judicial Watch. The so-called ``Ben 
Rhodes'' email was turned over as part of this document 
production. However, it took the State Department more than a 
year and a half after the attacks in Benghazi to turn over a 
document that they themselves describe as ``in connection with 
the Committee's investigation in to the attacks on the U.S. 
Special Mission in Benghazi.''
    The actions by the executive branch in the wake of the 
Benghazi terrorist attack on United States facilities have now 
expanded the scope of the congressional investigation that must 
occur. In addition to getting answers about what happened in 
Benghazi on September 11, 2012 and the Administration's 
response to the attack, Congress must review how the 
Administration has responded to congressional inquiries, 
subpoenas, and requests for information. Congress must also 
look at the checks and balances between the legislative and 
executive branches that our Founding Fathers envisioned. The 
House of Representatives is the People's House, and as such, 
should never be circumvented by any Administration. While FOIA 
is a powerful tool for transparency, an Administration should 
feel equally responsible to comply with a congressional 
investigation. A select committee will take time before it can 
open its doors, but it is now clear that we need to raise the 
level of public attention on the terrorist attack in Benghazi, 
Libya, on September 11, 2012 and the Administration's response 
to Congress.

                                hearings

    The Committee on Rules did not hold hearings on this 
measure.

                        committee consideration

    The Committee on Rules met on May 7, 2014 in open session 
and ordered H. Res. 567 favorably reported to the House by a 
record vote of 7 yeas and 4 nays, a quorum being present.

                            committee votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. A 
motion by Ms. Foxx to report the bill to the House with a 
favorable recommendation was agreed to by a record vote of 7 
yeas and 4 nays, a quorum being present. The names of Members 
voting for and against follow:

                           roll call no. 132


                  h. res. 567 (original jurisdiction)

    Date: May 07, 2014.
    Motion by Ms. Foxx to report the resolution to the House 
with a favorable recommendation.
    Adopted: 7 yeas and 4 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Representative                    Yea     Nay            Representative             Yea     Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ms. Foxx, Vice Chairman.......................      X           Ms. Slaughter, Ranking Member...              X
Mr. Bishop of Utah............................                  Mr. McGovern....................              X
Mr. Cole......................................      X           Mr. Hastings of Florida.........              X
Mr. Woodall...................................      X           Mr. Polis.......................              X
Mr. Nugent....................................
Mr. Webster of Florida........................      X
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen..............................      X
Mr. Burgess...................................      X
Mr. Sessions, Chairman........................      X
                                                                                                 ---------------
                                                                Vote Total:                           7       4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The committee also considered the following amendments on 
which record votes were requested. The names of Members voting 
for and against follow:

                           roll call no. 130


                  h. res. 567 (original jurisdiction)

    Date: May 07, 2014.
    Amendment offered by Ms. Slaughter makes membership on the 
Committee equally divided between Republicans and Democrats; 
guarantees minority sign-off on subpoenas and depositions; 
guarantees equal distribution of money, staffing, and other 
resources of the Committee; requires the Committee to establish 
written rules, specifically including rules concerning how 
documents and other information may be obtained, used, or 
released; guarantees equal access to evidence and materials of 
the Committee; provides for transparency of the Committee's 
expenditures and budgeting; ensures that a quorum for taking 
testimony or receiving evidence includes at least one minority 
Member; and, finally, ensures that the minority has a say in 
decisions about extended questioning and staff questioning of 
witnesses.
    Not Agreed to: 4 yeas and 7 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Representative                    Yea     Nay            Representative             Yea     Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ms. Foxx, Vice Chairman.......................              X   Ms. Slaughter, Ranking Member...      X
Mr. Bishop of Utah............................                  Mr. McGovern....................      X
Mr. Cole......................................              X   Mr. Hastings of Florida.........      X
Mr. Woodall...................................              X   Mr. Polis.......................      X
Mr. Nugent....................................
Mr. Webster of Florida........................              X
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen..............................              X
Mr. Burgess...................................              X
Mr. Sessions, Chairman........................              X
                                                                                                 ---------------
                                                                Vote Total:                           4       7
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           roll call no. 131


                  h. res. 567 (original jurisdiction)

    Date: May 07, 2014.
    Amendment offered by Mr. Polis amends the resolution to 
provide for separate consideration of H.R. 15.
    Not Agreed to: 5 yeas and 6 nays.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Representative                    Yea     Nay            Representative             Yea     Nay
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ms. Foxx, Vice Chairman.......................              X   Ms. Slaughter, Ranking Member...      X
Mr. Bishop of Utah............................                  Mr. McGovern....................      X
Mr. Cole......................................              X   Mr. Hastings of Florida.........      X
Mr. Woodall...................................              X   Mr. Polis.......................      X
Mr. Nugent....................................
Mr. Webster of Florida........................              X
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen..............................      X
Mr. Burgess...................................              X
Mr. Sessions, Chairman........................              X
                                                                                                 ---------------
                                                                Vote Total:                           5       6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            committee oversight findings and recommendations

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee made findings and 
recommendations that are reflected in this report.

                    performance goals and objectives

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee establishes the 
following performance related goals and objectives for this 
legislation:
    The resolution will ensure that Congress is most 
appropriately structured to conduct effective oversight of the 
events surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, on 
September 11, 2012 and ensure that the executive branch 
complies with requests for information related to this 
investigation and future oversight requests from Congress.

                      advisory committee statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.


             section-by-section analysis of the legislation



Section 1. Establishment.

    This section provides for the establishment of the Select 
Committee.

Section 2. Composition.

    This section provides that the Speaker will appoint 12 
Members to the Select Committee, five of whom will be appointed 
after consultation with the minority leader, that the Speaker 
will appoint the chair of the Select Committee, and that any 
vacancies are to be filled in the same manner as the original 
appointment.

Section 3. Investigation and Report on the Events Surrounding the 2012 
        Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.

    This section establishes the scope of the Select 
Committee's investigation and provides that the Select 
Committee must report its findings to the House. This section 
also provides that the Select Committee may issue interim 
reports and that any report issued by the Select Committee may 
contain a classified annex.
    The scope of the Select Committee's investigation includes, 
but is not limited to: security decisions and military posture 
prior to the attack, the terrorist attack that occurred in 
Benghazi on September 11, 2012, the Executive Branch's response 
to the attack, the Executive Branch's efforts to identify and 
bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack on U.S. 
facilities in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, the 
Executive Branch's response to congressional inquiries and 
subpoenas, recommendations for improving executive branch 
cooperation and compliance with congressional oversight, and 
lessons learned from the attacks and efforts to protect United 
States facilities and personnel abroad.

Section 4. Procedure.

    Subsection (a) authorizes the Select Committee to study 
sources and methods of entities related to the scope of the 
investigation provided for in section 3. The covered entities 
are limited to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Director of 
National Intelligence, and the National Intelligence Program as 
defined in section 3(6) of the National Security Act of 1947.
    Subsection (b) provides the Select Committee with access to 
classified information and provides that the Select Committee, 
including all staff and contractors, must properly handle 
classified information to prevent unauthorized disclosures.
    Subsection (c) establishes how certain provisions of House 
rule XI (relating to the procedure of committees) will apply to 
the Select Committee. Specifically, the Rules Committee intends 
that section 4 of the resolution, in conjunction with the 
standing rules of the House, shall comprise the Select 
Committee's rules and the adoption of separate written rules is 
not necessary. However, nothing in the resolution prohibits the 
Select Committee, should it deem it necessary, from adopting 
additional rules not inconsistent with the provisions of H. 
Res. 567. This subsection provides the chair of the Select 
Committee with subpoena and deposition authority consistent 
with the authorities provided to the chair of the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform. This subsection also provides 
that the Select Committee must use the same procedures to close 
a hearing as is required of the Permanent Select Committee on 
Intelligence. Finally, this subsection establishes quorums for 
certain orders of business and provides that the chair may 
recognize Members to question witnesses for longer than five 
minutes and recognize committee staff to question a witness.

Section 5. Records; Staff; Funding.

    This section provides that any committee of the House of 
Representatives having custody of records in any form relating 
to the matters described in section 3 must transfer such 
records to the Select Committee within 14 days of the adoption 
of this resolution. Such records shall become the records of 
the Select Committee. This section also authorizes committee 
funding and staff for the Select Committee.

Section 6. Dissolution and Disposition of Records.

    This section provides that the Select Committee will cease 
to exist 30 days after filing its final report and that the 
Speaker will designate which committee(s) will take possession 
of Select Committee's records.

  changes in existing house rules made by the resolution, as reported

    In compliance with clause 3(g) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H. Res. 
567 does not propose to repeal or amend a standing rule of the 
House.

                    appendix: deposition procedures

    The deposition procedures described in section 4(c)(5)(B) 
of the resolution are reprinted below for the convenience of 
the reader. The procedures will also be printed in the 
Congressional Record as required by the resolution.

  (a) Notice for the taking of depositions shall specify the date, 
time, and place of examination (if other than within the committee 
offices). Depositions shall be taken under oath administered by a 
member or a person otherwise authorized to administer oaths.
  (b) Consultation with the ranking minority member shall include three 
business days' notice before any deposition is taken. All members of 
the Select Committee shall also receive three business days notice that 
a deposition has been scheduled.
  (c) Witnesses may be accompanied at a deposition by counsel to advise 
them of their rights. No one may be present at depositions except 
members, committee staff designated by the chair or ranking minority 
member, an official reporter, the witness, and the witness's counsel. 
Observers or counsel for other persons, or for agencies under 
investigation, may not attend.
  (d) At least one member of the committee shall be present at each 
deposition taken by the committee, unless the witness to be deposed 
agrees in writing to waive this requirement.
  (e) A deposition shall be conducted by any member or staff attorney 
designated by the chair or ranking minority member. When depositions 
are conducted by committee staff attorneys, there shall be no more than 
two committee staff attorneys permitted to question a witness per 
round. One of the committee staff attorneys shall be designated by the 
chair and the other by the ranking minority member. Other committee 
staff members designated by the chair or ranking minority member may 
attend, but may not pose questions to the witness.
  (f) Questions in the deposition shall be propounded in rounds, 
alternating between the majority and minority. A single round shall not 
exceed 60 minutes per side, unless the members or staff attorneys 
conducting the deposition agree to a different length of questioning. 
In each round, a member or committee staff attorney designated by the 
chair shall ask questions first, and the member or committee staff 
attorney designated by the ranking minority member shall ask questions 
second.
  (g) Any objection made during a deposition must be stated concisely 
and in a non-argumentative and non-suggestive manner. The witness may 
refuse to answer a question only to preserve a privilege. When the 
witness has objected and refused to answer a question to preserve a 
privilege, the chair of the Select Committee may rule on any such 
objection after the deposition has adjourned. If the chair overrules 
any such objection and thereby orders a witness to answer any question 
to which a privilege objection was lodged, such ruling shall be filed 
with the clerk of the committee and shall be provided to the members 
and the witness no less than three days before the reconvened 
deposition. If a member of the committee appeals in writing the ruling 
of the chair, the appeal shall be preserved for committee 
consideration. A deponent who refuses to answer a question after being 
directed to answer by the chair in writing may be subject to sanction, 
except that no sanctions may be imposed if the ruling of the chair is 
reversed on appeal.
  (h) Committee staff shall ensure that the testimony is either 
transcribed or electronically recorded or both. If a witness's 
testimony is transcribed, the witness or the witness's counsel shall be 
afforded an opportunity to review a copy. No later than five days 
thereafter, the witness may submit suggested changes to the chair. 
Committee staff may make any typographical and technical changes. 
Substantive changes, modifications, clarifications, or amendments to 
the deposition transcript submitted by the witness must be accompanied 
by a letter signed by the witness requesting the changes and a 
statement of the witness's reasons for each proposed change. Any 
substantive changes, modifications, clarifications, or amendments shall 
be included as an appendix to the transcript conditioned upon the 
witness signing the transcript.
  (i) The individual administering the oath, if other than a member, 
shall certify on the transcript that the witness was duly sworn. The 
transcriber shall certify that the transcript is a true record of the 
testimony, and the transcript shall be filed, together with any 
electronic recording, with the clerk of the Select Committee in 
Washington, DC. Depositions shall be considered to have been taken in 
Washington, DC, as well as the location actually taken once filed there 
with the clerk of the Select Committee for the Select Committee's use. 
The chair and the ranking minority member shall be provided with a copy 
of the transcripts of the deposition at the same time.
  (j) The chair and ranking minority member shall consult regarding the 
release of depositions. If either objects in writing to a proposed 
release of a deposition or a portion thereof, the matter shall be 
promptly referred to the Select Committee for resolution.
  (k) A witness shall not be required to testify unless the witness has 
been provided with a copy of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and these procedures.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    The 2012 attack in Benghazi was a tragedy that took the 
lives of brave American public servants representing and 
serving our country. We join their families in continuing to 
mourn their loss. Congress has an obligation--both to the 
families of the victims and to the country--to take every 
possible step to prevent anything like this from ever happening 
again.
    The United States Senate has produced two bi-partisan 
reports on the issue and the State Department's Accountability 
Review Board has also produced a constructive, unbiased report. 
Unfortunately, the House Majority has chosen a different path, 
with an entirely partisan approach.
    Over nearly two years and across four separate standing 
committees of the House, the majority has repeatedly 
demonstrated that rather than engaging in serious, objective 
examination of the circumstances of the Benghazi attacks, 
rather than producing constructive recommendations to keep our 
citizens and facilities abroad safe, they intend to use this 
tragedy as an excuse for generating partisan talking points.
    Between the eight separate reports on Benghazi to date, 
millions of dollars of taxpayer money have been spent, dozens 
of interviews have been conducted and 13 hearings have been 
held. More than 25,000 pages of documents have been produced. 
There is a vast body of evidence already collected, none of it 
demonstrating that the Obama Administration engaged in any sort 
of cover-up as the majority continues to allege.
    The reports issued by House committees have been highly 
partisan, as were the investigations on which they were based. 
Democratic Members were excluded from fact-finding delegations. 
The minority was denied access to hearing witnesses. Documents 
obtained by a committee were withheld from minority Members. 
These are only some of the abuses committed in the course of 
these investigations. Press reports even indicate that the 
National Republican Congressional Committee--the House 
Republicans' campaign arm--is explicitly raising campaign money 
off of the tragedy in Benghazi.
    Now, after nearly two years of the majority engaging in 
thoroughly partisan exercises on this subject, they are 
proposing to create an extraordinary select committee, with the 
same partisan makeup and rules--to conduct yet another 
investigation.
    Given the majority's history of unprecedented partisanship 
with regard to this matter, there is no reason to believe that 
the new select committee will produce a different result.
    The only way this select committee could be effective is if 
it were completely bipartisan by the terms of the resolution 
creating it. We offered an amendment to make a number of 
changes to the structure and rules of the committee. Most 
importantly, our amendment would have made membership on the 
committee equally divided between Republicans and Democrats, 
like the Ethics Committee and like some past select committees. 
Our amendment would have guaranteed minority concurrence for 
authorization of subpoenas and equal distribution of money, 
staffing, and other committee resources.
    Unfortunately, our amendment was rejected on a party-line 
vote. Accordingly, we must oppose this resolution and the 
creation of this select committee. There is potential for a 
House select committee to investigate the tragedy in Benghazi 
in such a way as to finally produce a thoughtful, useful report 
on the subject, in stark contrast to the investigations and 
reports issued by four House committees thus far. But this 
select committee is doomed by the terms of this resolution to 
instead be more of the same.
                                   Louise M. Slaughter.
                                   James P. McGovern.
                                   Alcee L. Hastings.
                                   Jared Polis.